Owner arrested in Pakistani drug deaths cites Big Pharma conspiracy

A Big Pharma conspiracy and hospital error are possibly behind the deaths of dozens of heart patients, said the owner of a Pakistani drug manufacturer arrested in the case. His conspiracy theory chalks up the incident to "propaganda" from multinational companies to "suppress the local industry," reports The Express Tribune.

The unnamed owner was one of three arrested on charges of manufacturing "substandard" heart medication administered by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, according to the report. The three manufacturers are Alfalah Pharma, Mega Pharmaceuticals and Pharmawise Laboratories. The story did not identify which company was owned by the outspoken executive.

As we reported Monday, heavy metal contamination is thought to have caused the deaths.  

In a separate report, the Tribune says drug inspectors found manufacturing violations and "unhygienic conditions" at the plants. Official and unofficial accounts put the number of dead between 25 and 100, with an estimated 300 people being treated and 2,000 at risk.

- see The Express Tribune's reports here and here
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